June 16, 2019, 06:32:44 AM

Author Topic:  All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)  (Read 180 times)

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Enitan Reed-Dickinson [ Underage Wizard ]
44 Posts  •  10  •  unknown  •  played by Miss Mori
All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« on: June 11, 2019, 11:19:33 PM »
In the past week since she’d found her father, Enitan’s heart had been light and the smile had not left her face. She had found him. She’d promised her mother that she would, and she had! And he loved her, and wanted to keep her. And they had so much in common. A few days after she’d gotten there, they’d gone out to get the clay she wanted, and even managed to find some that would cure in a normal oven. That had been the most exciting part. And it was easier to work with then the clay she’d used at school, and came in all sorts of fun colours already, so she didn’t need to paint it. Her father had even bought her a book on working with that particular clay that showed how to make gradients, and a normal kitchen rolling pin. And then of course there were his paints. She at first had thought he wouldn’t let her use them, because they were his; and she’d have been fine with that. But last night they’d both spent the entire evening painting in the livingroom, which had been loads of fun. Her grandparents were amazing people too, though she still wasn’t sure what to think of Sam’s Girlfriend. She’d only met her once, and was reserving judgement until the woman was in less of a shocked state.

 Today they had spent most of the day in the shop, and true to her word, Enitan had curled up in a comfortable armchair near the counter and continued reading her book contentedly. She hadn’t even realized it was getting close to lunch time, when her father had asked her if she wanted to walk to the Cafe across the street to get them some lunch. She was excited that she was being trusted with this, even if he could clearly see into the window of the cafe from nearly every corner of the store. Putting her bookmark in, she was more than happy to do so, practically bouncing up and down as Sam carefully wrote down what he wanted.

Excitedly, she headed out the front door to order their food, tightly clutching the money that her father had given her. The cafe wasn’t too busy, as people were just starting to get off work and wouldn’t have had time to make it to the Cafe just yet. She easily made her way to the counter and carefully read off what Sam wanted, before ordering her own food and carefully counting out her money and deciding that she did indeed have enough for the fizzy cherry drink she liked so much. She looked back across the street, and smiled, not knowing if he could see her or not but assuming he was watching. It didn’t take long for them to give her the bag with the food, and she stopped to check to make sure it was all there, before carefully picking up the bag and holding it firmly so as not to drop it, heading for the door.

@Joanna Hennings
@Samuel Dickinson


Follow the stars, little one... They can't ever lead you wrong.

Joanna Hennings [ British Ministry ]
89 Posts  •  28  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 11:43:12 AM »
There wasn’t a single word to describe how Joanna was feeling at this moment in time. Agitated. Angry. Disbelief. Frustration. She could go through the alphabet of emotions today and not begin to cover the depths of her rage towards the incompetence and sheer stupidity of her staff. There had been reports for the past six months about a lone child wandering Diagon Alley and the surrounding streets. Six months and she was just hearing about it now. Apparently it hadn’t been a big deal because “the kid hadn’t been causing any harm”. It had taken everything Joanna possessed not to hex the heavy file to bash the hit wizard repeatedly over the head.

It was the kid she was concerned about.

Reports of unattended children had been frequent after the war. So many people had died and left loved ones behind. Sometimes Joanna thought maybe the kindest thing the Death Eaters had done was when they took a whole family together. Her father would definitely have preferred to go with his wife and son. The amount of children who were orphaned and needed homes was more than she ever wanted to think about. But now, unattended children were a rare sight. And that’s why this was concerning. Had she been abandoned? Had she run away? Was she neglected? In any of these cases, there was the supreme need for the Ministry to get involved to negate the harm to the child. There was the need for the Ministry to have gotten involved six months ago.

As it was, the only reason she had even finally found out was because another report had come in and a staff member had decided to ask if they could start ignoring them as the file was getting big. Ignore them! She resisted the urge to chew him out. Such was her rush to get to Diagon Alley before they could confirm that they had failed this poor child for yet another day, Joanna had barely done more than glance at the file.

Female, about 8-9 years old, black, seen sitting by herself outside for long periods of time.

It was more than enough to go on when the alternative was information gathering and losing the child for another unknown amount of time. The bulging file was in her bag anyway, lest any of her oh-so-helpful staff had the urge to vanish the file while she was out. She wouldn’t put it past them. Oh Merlin, she needed new recruits. So badly. The department just wouldn’t survive much longer without any. Take this for example. It wasn’t her job to go after abandoned children, but who else would do it? And she wasn’t about to let any child slip through the cracks in the system.

Joanna apparated into Diagon Alley, barely letting herself touch the ground before striding forward. It had been the cafe owner that had alerted them this time. The child had acquired money. It was apparently a different situation to when the young girl normally just sat on an upturned crate and observed passers by. Joanna was less concerned with where the money had come from and more with where the child had come from. Why wasn’t she in school?

Pushing open the door, she spotted the young girl immediately. Oh Merlin, Joanna had forgotten, in her rush of righteousness, that she would actually have to interact with this child. She wasn’t exactly fond of children. They were so…. temperamental. And she was now going to have to deal with one. How did one even start a conversation with a little person? Without scaring them off anyway.

There was no time to think, the young girl was basically infront of her with a bag of food about to leave. The cafe wasn’t too busy, so she didn’t have to worry about eavesdroppers and unintentionally irritating members of the public. “I’m Joanna,” she started, one hand pulling her ID badge out her pocket to show to the girl. Joanna wasn’t big by any means, but she could easily block a little child from getting out the door. “Lead Hit Witch with the Ministry.” She gestured to the empty table next to them. “There’s some people who are very worried about your wellbeing.” Did children know words like wellbeing? “I’d just like to make sure that you are safe and being looked after properly.” She clarified, hoping that made more sense.

Taking a seat, hopefully the fact that they now shared the same height would put the child at ease, but with her hand out to capture the girl if necessary, Joanna once again gestured at the seat opposite. She shared a nod with the cafe owner over the little girl’s head, the owner turning away with apparent satisfaction that finally the Ministry had decided to come deal with this. The little girl looked familiar in a way that Joanna could not place. She was convinced she had never met her before, after all, she didn’t have many dealings with children, but why was her mind trying to spark a connection that just would not materialise?

“Now, can you guess why some people might be worried about you?” The little girl might not be a suspect, but Joanna really only knew how to interview suspects and witnesses to crimes. Was that an acceptable question to ask a child, Merlin only knew.

Enitan Reed-Dickinson [ Underage Wizard ]
44 Posts  •  10  •  unknown  •  played by Miss Mori
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2019, 12:25:07 AM »
Enitan looked up as a woman blocked her path. She was rather pretty, but the look on her face was far too serious, like someone who was about to tell her a list of things she’d done wrong, or anything else. She really hoped the woman wasn’t the sort of person to be all children shouldn’t be allowed to do such-and-such because Enitan wasn’t sure she could hold her tongue if she did. The frizzy haired girl was about to politely ask the woman to move, when she pulled out a badge. Enitan could read, and didn’t need the woman to tell her what it said, her eyes narrowing, then going wide, even as the woman sat down at the table nearest the door, still easily able to stop her from exiting.

Her feet slid slowly backwards across the floor, tasting copper in her mouth as she bit the inside of her cheek to keep herself from turning into a deer in headlights. She had to find a way out, had to get away, back to her father. To tell him they had to flee. It didn’t matter that on some level she knew that the ministry had been controlled by bad people, but her mother had never stopped being afraid that it could happen again, and in Enitan’s mind, it could. She couldn’t prove she was Sam’s daughter. Not with the paperwork that she had. Her father had mentioned needing to get some official paperwork done so that she could officially be recognised as his kid, but they hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

At least the woman wasn’t treating her like a child, for the most part. It was weird, like one moment she was talking to a grownup, and the next she was trying to make everything easy to understand. If she hadn’t been so afraid, Enitan might have been confused. Had this woman ever interacted with anyone under eighteen before?

She was trembling heavily, knowing she had to make a run for it. She had to get out, had to distract her. Sam’s shop was only across the street. Maybe if she could make it back there he’d know what to do. He could protect her. She had to believe that. Shreiking, Enitan threw the bag of food at Joanna, bolting for the door, desperate to get out onto the street. “I won’t go to Azkaban no no no no no!”


Follow the stars, little one... They can't ever lead you wrong.

Joanna Hennings [ British Ministry ]
89 Posts  •  28  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2019, 12:57:29 AM »
Bloody Merlin. Children! Honestly.

She didn’t have the patience for this. She didn’t have the pay for this. Children, they were so temperamental. A tiny part of Joanna’s mind, the part she kept hidden and locked away and did not acknowledge, reminded her that she could have just told her staff to ignore the reports. Then she would be at her desk with a cup of tea and some chocolate. She wouldn’t be dealing with a screeching child in the middle of Diagon Alley trying to throw food at her. What was with the waste of good food?

The little girl may have thought she was quick, but Joanna was quicker. Well, probably not running, but she had magic on her side. The food vanished before it could make contact with her and the door sealed shut. Seriously, did this child have to turn a simple question into such a drama? It would not do for any additional members of the public to enter the cafe now, no need for any press to get out about this. Joanna could almost see the headlines. Ministry foiled by little girl. Ministry too incompetent to catch underage thief. And so on. And Joanna was not in the mood for that.

Honestly, she’d only wanted to check the child’s well being. There was no need for such dramatics. Although, Joanna had sat through her child protection training. She knew that such a reaction belied something deeper, some tragedy or abuse that had perpetuated throughout a youngster’s life, leaving them with a distrust of authority figures. It was clearly of vital importance that this child was monitored, something was clearly wrong.

A lazy flick of her wand had the young girl freezing on the spot. Joanna didn’t feel entirely too comfortable about using immobulus on a child but what choice did she have? She wasn’t running after her and really, magic was much better than physically restraining the girl. With another flick, the prone body floated gently back to the chair Joanna had gestured at before she had been involved in a one-sided food fight. Yes, it was best not to think too deeply into the ethics behind the use of magical restraints on children in public…

Joanna lifted the spell so that the child would have full movement - apart from the ability to get off the chair - and fixed the mini person in front of her with a stern, slightly exasperated look. The kind she gave her staff when they submitted paperwork that was wrong for the third or fourth time. The kind of look she gave when she was in a good mood. If they did that when she wasn’t then they should be prepared for more of a reaction. “Now,” she began. “Shall we try that again?”

She better not try screeching again. Joanna was more than willing to cast a silencing charm until the tantrum was over. “I’m not going to take you to Azkaban. Children cannot even be imprisoned in Azkaban so that’s completely illogical.” Wait, stop talking unnecessarily Joanna, illogical was probably not a word that a child knew. “But I did ask you a question and I would appreciate an answer.” Oh Merlin, silence was worse than screeching. She was not in the mood to sit in a stare off with a child.

Gesturing at the cafe owner, looking vaguely concerned behind the counter, a drink was floated over to them. Joanna only hoped it was the kind that the girl liked. She placed it in front of the child. Like a peace offering. Although really, it was a bribe. “Now,” Joanna began again. “Can you guess why some people might be worried about you?” Attempt number two it seemed. She just hoped this wouldn’t be a lucky number three situation. If it looked like a drop of that sugary liquid was going to get on Joanna she would not hesitate to resume the freezing charm.

Enitan Reed-Dickinson [ Underage Wizard ]
44 Posts  •  10  •  unknown  •  played by Miss Mori
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2019, 01:19:38 AM »
There was a horrific amount of fear in the child’s eyes, and panic, as she froze in place before being forced into the chair at the table, their food gone now, not even having made contact with the woman, or the floor. On top of everything else, she’d lost and her father’s lunch. Tears started streaming down the girl’s cheeks. She finally had found her father. Everything had been going well. This couldn’t happen, not now. It was all going right… Enitan swallowed, trying hard not to cry. She wished she had brought Bindi, but the rat had stayed behind with Blue today. Apparently, she liked the heated rock in blue’s cage, and Blue had gotten used to sharing it.

“You can’t… you can’t take me away… I finally found my father. And he’s a wizard… I’m not….” she took a deep, shaky breath. She wasn’t a muggle born. Were the bad people back in control? She hadn’t been doing anything wrong, and couldn’t imagine why people were worried. They had to think she was up to no good. Because the bad people couldn’t be back in control. She read the papers, when she could get her hands on them at least. “And I wasn’t stealing! I swear! I paid for my food. He was watching… just from across the street.” she didn't touch the drink, instead wrapping her arms tightly around herself, afraid, scared, and alone again. Where was Sam? He was supposed to be watching. At least she’d assumed he was…

Enitan didn’t get up from the chair, she couldn’t. But she did pull her knees up to her chin and bury her face in her legs. “I promised…. I promised my mom I’d stay out of trouble. I promised I’d find him. I kept my promise… you have to let me go back.”
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 01:24:07 AM by Miss Mori »


Follow the stars, little one... They can't ever lead you wrong.

Joanna Hennings [ British Ministry ]
89 Posts  •  28  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2019, 01:53:28 AM »
Oh Merlin. Were those tears? Oh Merlin, she couldn’t deal with tears.

Who was she kidding? She couldn’t deal with children. This was above her pay grade. This was above her area of expertise. This child was clearly traumatised. Deeply traumatised. And what could Joanna do? Simply try and reassure her that her concerns were unfounded. She didn’t have the training for this. She didn’t have the skills required to comfort a distressed child. She didn’t have the skills required to comfort a distressed anyone. Buck up and move on. Cry in your own time. Don’t let the world see how you’re feeling. Why couldn’t the whole world live by those rules?

“It’s okay,” she said, in a hopefully reassuring tone. She turned her wrist around to conjure up a tissue to hand to the dripping child opposite. “Here. Take this.” What would a tissue do? Absolutely nothing but maybe cleaning herself up a bit would make her feel a bit better? It was very unlikely but Joanna was grasping at anything that she could grasp at. What gibberish was this girl spouting anyway? She was scared of being taken away? Or being watched?

It was instinct for Joanna to turn round and observe the street through the cafe window. There was no ominous figure standing silently across the street but that didn’t mean there hadn’t been. Was someone trying to encourage this little girl to steal? Was someone threatening her mother? She was babbling nonsense and pulling herself into a ball as she did so, self comfort. No, Joanna couldn’t just remain here on the other side of the table. She carefully got up and walked around the table before dropping to a crouching position infront of the child’s chair. It put her at a lower position, allowing her to gaze up worriedly into the girl’s hidden face.

“I need you to tell me what’s going on.” She said calmly. Always speak calmly the guidance assured. Do not stoop to hysteria. “I want to help but I cannot if I don’t understand.” How did she word this without introducing an idea for the child to latch onto? She needed this little girl to say things in her own words and not be influenced by Joanna’s opinion. That was the problem with children’s statements and testimonies. They often hinged on the words an adult had just said. Simply repeating them back and agreeing rather than actually telling their own story.

Joanna finally decided to go with questioning her last words. The words she had almost mumbled into her knees. “Please look at me,” she requested firmly, keeping her voice soft. She understood seeking comfort but it frightened her how closed off this girl was. It reminded her too much of the war. The aftermaths of the war. That desperation that many orphans faced. That belief that no one could help them.

“Go back to what?” Was her question. She had considered asking why the child thought she wouldn’t be allowed back, but honestly, that was too convoluted for this emotional situation. She would settle for a sentence that wasn’t broken with distressed breaths and short staccato punctuation. And this was not the right environment for this. A public cafe with a child who was determined to flee. No, they needed to move someplace private, but there was absolutely no way this child could be moved in this state.

Joanna could only imagine the emotional and physical damage that would be done if she attempted any means of magical removal. So, she guessed they were stuck in this cafe, with an owner who was going to miss the lunch rush, until the child calmed down and told her why she was by herself and who exactly was meant to be watching her. She had low expectations on their qualifications. Joanna was mentally preparing herself to file a mandatory removal order before the end of the day.

Not at school. Out by herself. Emotionally distressed. Strange man watching her.

None of those signs pointed to a healthy guardianship situation. None of those signs made Joanna comfortable.

Samuel Dickinson [ Artist ]
1331 Posts  •  38  •  straight  •  played by Carys
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2019, 08:08:34 AM »
The past week had been a whirlwind. Discovering he had a daughter had only been the start; that they had bonded from the beginning was nothing short of a miracle, but it hadn't been without difficulties. Once they'd got over the initial shock, Sam's parents had welcomed their new granddaughter with open arms, voicing their reservations privately until he'd assured them that he had all the necessary paperwork to prove who she was and that he knew undeniably that she was his child, but never a word of doubt had passed their lips in Enitan's presence. His mother was already planning for a family Christmas and attempting to persuade Theresa to bring her family over from South Africa for the festive season.

Things had been less easy with his other sister Cassandra. She had expressed more than doubt out of the child's earshot and told Sam outright that he ought to have been more careful. She'd also told him he needed to inform the Ministry as soon as possible so that he could also be named on the relevant paperwork, but while that was firmly on Sam's list of things to do, unsurprisingly he hadn't got around to it yet. As for Louise - she had handled the situation well, but was clearly shocked. They hadn't yet talked about the possibility of having children and suddenly Sam had a ten year old who within less than a day had become the centre of his world.

A ten year old who was in some respects terrifyingly independent and in others simply terrified. While she believed she knew how to cook and to take care of herself and had even insisted on cooking grilled cheese for Sam to prove it (aside from the piece which had caught on fire it had been reasonably edible) she jumped at her own shadow and once she'd made up her mind, absolutely nothing was going to change it. Another man might have labelled her 'difficult' but as far as Sam was concerned, he'd dealt with far worse during his time at Hogwarts. At least she liked to read, she wanted to learn, and she had no intention of ever being parted from him.

Today they were in the shop, and true to her word, she curled up happily with a book near the counter, though he could sense dark eyes on him whenever he served a customer or moved more than a few feet away. When lunchtime came around, he was about to suggest that they head to the cafe across the street, but that would mean closing the shop and possibly missing a sale. It wasn't far away, he could watch from the window...

Enitan was delighted to be trusted and left with a big smile on her face. He watched as she approached the counter feeling a strong sense of pride; then the door opened and an elderly lady entered the shop. She was a regular customer and a practitioner of Arithmancy; Sam recognised her immediately. She'd been after a rare Egyptian artifact for some time and his father had recently managed to source one for her. The Seer lifted it onto the counter for her to examine, glanced up and across the street, and felt the bottom drop out of his stomach. “Excuse me Madam Danvers...” he gasped, darting out from behind the counter. Grabbing the door handle, he wrenched it open and was across the street in less than a dozen strides. Another second and his full weight crashed into the door. Somewhere within his pain-fogged mind Sam realised it had been locked.

"Enitan!" he yelled, hammering on the door with a fist. His wand wasn't drawn; there hadn't been time for that. But through the window he had seen a strange woman casting a spell on Enitan, making her sit down opposite, and now conjuring a drink for her... he missed everything else, right up until the moment when he ran into the locked door and felt his blood run cold. Who was this woman, and what why was she daring to talk to the little girl? His little girl. In a single movement Sam's wand was out, casting "alohomora"; almost expecting the door to remain sealed shut but clearly the woman - whoever she was - had only wanted to keep Enitan in, rather than anything more complex. A moment later he was kneeling next to Enitan, pulling the sobbing child into his arms, eyes blazing with fury, one cheek beginning to swell from the impact of colliding with the door. He glared at the woman. “You leave my daughter alone before I do something we're both going to regret!”
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 05:50:02 PM by Carys »

Enitan Reed-Dickinson [ Underage Wizard ]
44 Posts  •  10  •  unknown  •  played by Miss Mori
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 09:21:03 PM »
Enitan was afraid, terrified even. She had just wanted some lunch and was so happy to be trusted to go by herself. And now the same ministry who had left her mother to rot in prison was here demanding answers when she didn't even understand the questions. Why would anyone have been worried? Did they think she was going to steal? But she'd paid for her food, for enough food for two people. It didn't make any sense. There was indignation in the young girl's voice, despite the tears as she uncurled herself and lifted her head. "You can help by going away. I didn't do anything wrong! I paid for my food fair and square, and… I just wanted to go back to my dad… I didn't do anything wrong! I didn't even bring Bindi in with me." She hated the fact that people were convinced that because there was a rat with her, they both were dirty.

"My Dad's shop… across the street. He had a customer… and he can see clear to the counter in here from over there. I'm a big girl, I can walk across the street on my own." She looked up at a bang, and saw Sam on the other side of the door, struggling with it, shouting. "Let him in! Let my dad in!" She struggled to get out of the chair but the other woman's magic held her fast. Fortunately Sam was able to force his way in, rushing to her and pulling her tightly into his arms. The tears spilled once more as she clung tightly to him.

"She's from the ministry…" Expressive eyes filled with relief, though there was still fear, when they opened up and were looking at Joanna again. It was her she was afraid of. Her, and the mere mention of the ministry, still clinging tightly to Sam for protection from Joanna. "Don't let her take me away… please… I don't want to go. I finally found you…"
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 09:27:25 PM by Miss Mori »


Follow the stars, little one... They can't ever lead you wrong.

Joanna Hennings [ British Ministry ]
89 Posts  •  28  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 09:52:01 PM »
If Joanna was the type of person to roll her eyes at a child, she would have done. “I’m not accusing you of stealing,” she said halfheartedly, although she suspected the childish panic would prevent any of her words from actually being heard. Although, her dad? That was … interesting to say the least. If she had had to bet on it she would have said that the girl had been orphaned and was in foster care. But there was no reason to suspect this father figure was biological. And clearly was not a fit parent based on all these reports.

The child seemed to have a disorganised attachment to her father, the amount of distress in her voice indicative of a volatile relationship. And really, it was him that Joanna needed to talk to. She may feel that the child deserved an opinion but in the eyes of the law, it was the parent or guardian that the discussion should be held with. And, oh, did Joanna have a lot to discuss. “Across the street,” she repeated, about to tell the girl that they were going to go - together - and get him. A large bang behind her interrupted her words and she turned to witness a blonde haired man crashing into the door. She once again contained her eye roll.

This was the father? Asides from the lack of familial similarity - although, again, he didn’t need to be the biological father - Joanna’s mind unhelpfully supplied that he kind of looked a bit like a puppy dog. A puppy dog attempting to be angry, but a puppy nonetheless. Did he deliberately have his hair like that? He seemed to think he was threatening, although, given that Joanna had dealt with harden criminals for most of her adult life, he really did just look like a dog without his chew toy. She let him push past her to pull the girl into a hug. Well, he seemed concerned about her emotional state, although it could just be an act. Rising from her crouched position, Joanna returned to her seat.

She would have let his threat go without comment because, really, it was barely a threat but the build up of the day’s events were annoying. First her useless employees. Then nearly getting food thrown at her. Then the tears. And now being treated like the bad person for caring about the wellbeing of a child. “Do not make threats at me,” Joanna said tartly. The child was clearly calming down in the presence of her father but something was still off about her behaviour. Why was she so convinced that the Ministry were going to take her away? What was going on in this household?

“I am Joanna Hennings,” she began, flashing her ID badge at the man this time. “Lead Hit Witch with the Ministry. Who are you?” Answers. That was what she needed. Answers. And a sugar hit, but this was not the time or place to be pulling out sweets from her pockets.

Samuel Dickinson [ Artist ]
1331 Posts  •  38  •  straight  •  played by Carys
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 10:53:09 PM »
All manner of thoughts ran through Sam's mind, none of them pleasant, all of them centred around the utter fear that he was going to lose his daughter just when he had found her. That he wouldn't be able to protect her, just as he had failed to protect so many others. He felt fractionally better when she was in his arms, clinging to him and sobbing, begging him not to let the woman take her away. “Nobody's taking you anywhere...it's okay...you're safe...I've got you...” Sam barely knew what he was saying, just that the words spilled out easily, anything to reassure both Enitan and himself.

But he was inexplicably furious with himself. If not for the residual effects of the Victory Ball sickness, he would still be able to apparate; he could have got her away right now, taken her straight home where they could barricade themselves in and be safe until he figured out who she was and how to deal with this. They could...something else Enitan had said filtered through his mind. Ministry. The woman was from the Ministry. That explained why the little girl was so frightened. She had no experience of anyone in the Ministry being helpful, or indeed anything other than outright dangerous. But Sam felt fractionally calmer, at least enough that he sheathed his wand, though this was not without difficulty with the frightened little girl clinging leech-like to him.

“I'll make threats to anyone who upsets my daughter, ministry or not” he said, after the woman introduced herself “and I am Samuel Dickinson, former Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts.” there was such an icy edge to his voice that he surprised himself on two counts. The second being that he never spoke of his former position. He occasionally told people that he had been Head of House for Ravenclaw, but never that he had been second in command of the entire school for almost four years. “I'm afraid I don't have a fancy little card, but if you want a reference I suggest you owl my good friend Minerva McGonagall. And while we're having this happy little meeting perhaps you'd care to explain what a Lead Hit Witch wants with my ten year old daughter” None of this was making any sense. Sam just wished he hadn't let Enitan go out on her own, even if she had only been just across the street.

[OOC: When Minerva was a played character during DH playtime and after Sam and she were good friends]

Joanna Hennings [ British Ministry ]
89 Posts  •  28  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2019, 12:44:44 AM »
Oh, puppy was trying to play hard was he? Joanna’s mind sarcastically supplied as Samuel Dickinson introduced himself by name dropping. Unfortunately for him Joanna had a tempestuous relationship with the school of Hogwarts at best and was thoroughly unimpressed by most of the staffing and education there. Her failure to secure an introduction into proper career advice just a few months beforehand was currently driving the negatives of that viewpoint. And she was also pretty sure that Professor Dickinson had been a divination Professor and really, that spoke volumes.

Sometimes she really wished she didn’t have to be professional. That she could reply with exactly what she thought, a scathing retort about how his former position had nothing to do with the current situation and she had no intention of owling Minerva McGonagall. Ever. And what exactly would the Headmistress of Hogwarts think of Samuel’s parenting style anyway? Actually, Joanna mused, given how lax child safety was at the school, she would probably think he was Parent of the Year.

But she didn’t say any of that. Because she was an adult. An adult who had a job to do. “Threatening or obstructing a ministry employee on official business is a crime under Section 26b of the Ministry Employment Act 1922.” Joanna replied calmly and evenly. “So, once again. Do not make threats at me.” She just wanted to figure out what was going on, she did not want to charge anyone. Although, it would be interesting if a former Hogwarts Professor was subject to a mandatory removal order. It would maybe even encourage the school to look at the hiring approach. Oh, who was she kidding, no it would not.

The Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor in her final year had been possessed by Tom Riddle and they still merrily went on hiring useless idiots. She doubted a neglectful parent would be the thing that forced change. “Okay Mr. Dickinson,” she began, hands folded on the table in front of her. “Would you care to explain to me why I have six months of reports regarding concerns over your daughter’s wellbeing?” Joanna flinched internally as she spoke. If she had had any previous involvement then the reports would not have got past one day without intervention. And looking at this little girl now. She was going to order extra mandatory child protection training for every member of the Hit Squad and their support staff. They were not going to let anything like this slip through the cracks again.

Joanna patiently awaited whatever awful excuse the former divination Professor care to gave. She doubted anything he said could adequately explain what was going on.

Enitan Reed-Dickinson [ Underage Wizard ]
44 Posts  •  10  •  unknown  •  played by Miss Mori
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 01:06:46 AM »
Just having Sam there made Enitan feel safer.after all, he was a wizard too, and he wouldn’t let the horrible woman take her away from him. Her heart skipped a beat when he referred to her as his daughter however, a warm feeling soothing away the tenseness as she rested her head against his shoulder, trying to calm down. No one ever listened to anything she had to say, no matter how important it was, if she was upset, crying, or angry.

The little girl tried to cling even tighter to Sam as the two adults angrily said what sounded like important things at each other, like they were trying to decide which of them was more important. She hated it when adults did that. Why couldn’t they all just talk like sensible people and work things out calmly? Then again from what she’d experienced, the Ministry was not at all the sort of place where people did that. But deputy headmaster sounded really important. Enitan had thought he’d just been a teacher. So she, for one, was really impressed, even though she was still scared. Especially when the woman mentioned the past six months. But she knew. And she had to stick up for him.

“That's not at all his fault!” she said, the indignation returning to her voice as she straightened up a little. “It just took me a really long time to find him… after… my mother...” she swallowed. She didn’t want to think it, let alone say it. “I only found him a week ago… and I wouldn't have had to do it all on my own if you people hadn’t locked my mother up in that horrible place and left her to ROT! You’re not taking him away from me too...” there was a flash of aggression and anger in the girl’s eyes, even as she still tightly clung to Sam.


Follow the stars, little one... They can't ever lead you wrong.

Samuel Dickinson [ Artist ]
1331 Posts  •  38  •  straight  •  played by Carys
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 11:33:16 AM »
The woman was clearly insane. Sam had assumed that the Ministry were under better management these days, their decision to release from Azkaban and then allow a convicted Death Eater back into the country notwithstanding, but clearly he was wrong. If a Lead Hit Witch could stroll into a cafe, threaten and frighten his daughter and then attempt to turn the tables on him by claiming he was the one who was making threats there was obviously something disturbing going on here. Sam wasn't at all sure he wanted to find out what it was. But he also knew from experience that often, open hostility wasn't the best course of action. If he pretended to co-operate, put the woman at ease, tricked her somehow into dropping her guard...never had the Seer attacked someone in public, but there was a first time for everything and he realised he was quite willing to do so if that meant protecting Enitan.

Then the woman asked something that would have explained her attitude. Six months of reports..? Sam opened his mouth to respond, though not entirely sure where to begin, but it was Enitan who spoke up first, and she said all that really needed to be said. All the most important things, anyway. But when he spoke, it wasn't to the Ministry witch, but to his daughter. “It's okay...nobody's taking you anywhere. But you remember when I told you about the Ministry? How they've got different people in charge now? Good people, yeah? I think this lady saw you by yourself and thought you had nowhere to live...” this was said as if they were the only two people in the cafe, but really he didn't care what the woman thought. All that mattered right now was appeasing her enough that they would be able to walk out if here.

With some difficulty, Sam disentangled himself from the little girl with more assurances and summoned himself a chair. Now he was on a level with the woman.

“Joanna Hennings” he said, looking directly at her “What Enitan says is quite correct. Until eight days ago I didn't know I even had a daughter, until she turned up in my family's shop - Dickinsons' antiques is just across the street, you can see it for yourself...” he gestured in that direction with a sudden sinking feeling that he'd abandoned one of his fathers' valued customers without explanation (as it turned out, Madam Danvers was happily passing the time examining her prospective purchase, and in another couple of minutes, with nothing pressing to attend to, would put up the closed sign and summon a pot of tea while she awaited 'Basil's nice young lad' to return). “I first met Enitan's mother when we were both travelling in Africa. As we are - were - both Seers, we had a great deal in common, so when I met her again at a divination conference eleven years ago, we...renewed our friendship. But we lost touch again immediately. Tatiana - Enitan's mother - moved them to Britain when Enitan was four. I've got all the official documentation at home, and...”

He trailed off. Sam didn't want to discuss this in front of the little girl. He feared it was going to upset her further. But the woman was still stony-faced, clearly feeling she deserved this explanation. Very well. Sam wasn't going to sugar-coat what had happened. “She assumed there would be plenty of time to track me down, but you know what happened next, I'm sure. Tatiana Reed was muggleborn, you see, so she and Enitan went on the run, but Tatiana was snatched by the Ministry and thrown into Azkaban. Enitan escaped and was looked after by a friend of her mother's. As you can imagine, there was no time then to find me either. Once the war was over, Tatiana was released, but she was very ill as a result... I'm sorry. We have to tell her -” this last was to Enitan who was still snuggled up against him.

“Enitan ended up in a muggle childrens' home until she escaped six months ago. It took her some time to find her mother's friend, but he looked after her and helped her track me down. There is no subterfuge involved in any of this just a little girl trying to find her way home.” he was suddenly weary, but still annoyed. The past week had been taken up with arranging Enitan's bedroom, buying her new clothes that actually fit her, finding out about her...another couple of days and he would have taken the papers to the Ministry himself, explained that he was her father and would be taking care of her from now on. Everything would have been fine if it had happened that way. But even as he sighed, something else the woman had said recalled itself to his mind.

“So that is our side of the story. Now perhaps you would care to explain how your department, by your own admission, have six months of reports, yet during that time, this child managed to first take care of herself on the streets, then locate the one adult wizard she trusted, then eventually track me down while you singularly failed to even speak to her until ten minutes ago?”

Joanna Hennings [ British Ministry ]
89 Posts  •  28  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 01:14:38 PM »
Well, the little girl was certainly eager to defend her father. Joanna had barely finished her sentence before she had burst in. Really, her outburst again gave rise to more questions. Who had she found a week ago? Where exactly was her mother? Was she in jail? Apparently Samuel Dickinson cared enough about the child to try and comfort her although, really, why was she apparently so traumatised by the Ministry? Little pieces of the puzzle began to fall together slowly but nothing clicked until the man mentioned the child’s name. Enitan. Suddenly Joanna was assaulted by memories of a woman, too weak to stand, desperately asking for her lost daughter.

She listened to Samuel’s narration with mounting horror. Yes, Enitan was clearly deeply traumatised. And with reason. And Joanna could have done something about it. Years ago. She filed certain pieces of information away in her mind, ready to bring them up later, but mainly just gazed at Enitan as her father spoke. She did resemble her mother. Not that Tatiana had really been visible under the months of neglect and grime that she had been subject to. The unmentionable horrors that she had survived through only to pass away in her freedom. But she was so much more grown up than the little girl that Tatiana talked about. It made sense, so many years had passed, but still. Joanna had trouble imagining Enitan as an even smaller child.

Merlin, why had Tatiana just disappeared from St Mungo’s like she had? They could have helped. She had been entitled to so much more than she had gotten. A bubble of guilt swelled in her stomach, feeling slightly like indigestion. Why hadn’t Joanna done more to track her down? Why had she simply made assumptions and moved on? At the time a single female checking herself out of St Mungo’s had seemed like the littlest thing in the world to focus on. No matter the kindness that Tatiana had done for Joanna there was simply too much else to do. Now, well now it felt like she had neglected her duty. She could have helped. She could have prevented this.

Joanna ignored Samuel’s question about the competence of the Ministry. It was not in her business to explain Ministry procedure to members of the public. And honestly, she didn’t think she could even begin to adequately explain the complete mess that was the incoming reports log. She hadn’t even looked at Samuel as he was talking, still staring at Enitan. “You,” she began quietly, with a slight hitch to her voice, “you’re Tatiana Reed’s daughter?”

Realising that her question seemed random, Joanna cast a hand in the air, almost trying to brush the atmosphere away. “I’m sorry,” she said, still speaking to Enitan. “I knew your mother. I always assumed she’d gone back to America.” Her throat felt like it had a lump in it. The words were pushing past it but still coming out slightly forced, with a depth of emotion behind them. “But she hadn’t…”

Joanna tried to smile, “your mum was so proud of you.” And Tatiana had been. When she hadn’t been trying to find out Enitan’s whereabouts, she had been telling her about her daughter’s intelligence and smile and exploits. And she had died. Following Azkaban. If only she had let Joanna help. Let her know.

Enitan Reed-Dickinson [ Underage Wizard ]
44 Posts  •  10  •  unknown  •  played by Miss Mori
Re: All is Not as it Seems (Joanna/Sam)
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2019, 05:05:37 PM »
Enitan  couldn't help but be comforted by Sam taking over the explanation. It was so much easier when someone else said it. Like she could pretend it happened to someone else and didn't have to tell it like it had happened to her. But to hear it all laid out so plainly, that was almost worse. She simply nodded along with what he was saying. The dark haired girl didn't feel any need to elaborate on what her father was saying either. She wasn't sure she wanted to tell the woman that she had spent some nights sleeping in alleys, or simply not sleeping at all afraid that someone would find her and either make her go back to that horrible place, or take her away somewhere else.

" my mum, she saw in the Stars that I would find him in Diagon Alley. So that's where I was looking." It was the only addition to Sam's statement that she made. The ministry witch still seemed impassive, but thoughtful, and Enitan swallowed nervously. Her and found its way back into her father's as he took a chair next to them. She didn't want to do this not here, not in public. Where a bunch of strangers could see and hear them, even if there was hardly anyone in the Cafe yet. But they didn't seem likely to leave just yet.

Her eyes went wife when the woman finally spoke. She'd listened carefully to what Sam was saying, and he hadn't mentioned the name Reed at all. So she had good reason to believe the woman. "How… how did you know her?" She asked softly, looking up at the woman with less frightened, and curious eyes. The woman was sad now too, and Enitan's eyes were watery once more. She let out a sniffle when Joanna said her mother was proud of her. She always knew that. But to hear someone else say it…

"She wouldn't go back… not without finding my father… and she was too sick to go anywhere…" and she hadn't wanted to ask for help. She didn't trust that what had happened once could happen again. Neither of them had really known much about the political climate here, and had no way of knowing what would happen.


Follow the stars, little one... They can't ever lead you wrong.

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